Weston Neiffer (pictured right), Military Enrollment and Training manager for National American University’s College of Military Studies, was awarded the Patriot Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Program. Weston was nominated by Military Enrollment and Staff Training Specialist Chace Larsen, a member of the South Dakota Army National Guard. We are proud of Weston for supporting the deployments of our staff! The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed.
Michele Sanchez is an Enrollment and Completion Advisor for National American University’s Ellsworth Air Force Base Campus. She has been with NAU since 1999, when she started as both a teacher and a student.
“I went to their base office and wanted to take a class for fun,” said Michele. “After my interview, I signed up for the class and NAU also hired me to teach.”
Michelle earned her Master’s Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. Her student teaching experience was interesting, to say the least.
“I completed my student teaching in one of the most dangerous areas in San Francisco, where drive by shootings were weekly occurrences. It was very dangerous but it was also one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. Helping these students whose English skills were limited, succeed.”
Michele also has some important advice for our students.
“My advice to students is to pick a major that they are passionate about, don’t just pick a degree to complete because you need a degree,” said Michelle. “The majority of your life, you will be working and everyone should pick something they are interested in and that they enjoy.”
Meet Christina (Chris) McCormick. Chris is the Military Site Director for the College of Military Studies Ellsworth AFB campus. She retired from the U.S. Air Force after 20 years of active duty, serving in many capacities ranging from Personnel Management Specialist to Commandant of the Ellsworth Air Force Base’s Airman Leadership School.
Ms. McCormick’s experience with National American University began after her brother – an NAU employee – pressed her about getting an education.
“He shared the AU-ABC (Air University – Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative) and I was sold! It was unbelievable to me how many transfer credits could be applied toward my degree,” said Chris. “Because of NAU employees and their military friendly degree programs, I reached my goal of completing my bachelor’s degree.”
One of Chris’s most memorable experiences during her military career was visiting Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station.
“Inside a mountain are 14 buildings, 13 of which are three stories. The buildings are built on giant springs; very fascinating.”
Chris retired from the Air Force knowing she wanted to work for NAU. She was impressed with the culture of the school and the strong focus on student success. As a veteran herself, and now as a site director serving veterans, her passion is to improve the lives of military members through education.
“I have a deep appreciation for what military members and their families do for this country. I am also proud of NAU and their support of our military.”